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Withdrawal Symptoms?

It is being observed that the militants have started launching a series of rocket attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan shortly after the outgoing Donald Trump Administration in Washington DC announced plans to withdraw US troops from the two war-ravaged Asian countries. There have been quite a few number of casualties due to these attacks. Although the Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for some of these, the Afghan Administration has blamed the Taliban militants. Earlier, US President Trump had taken a vow to end America’s Longest War, asking at least half of the members of the US troops to return to their homes. What is happening now in Iraq and Afghanistan is a part of fulfilment of this Political Promise. Meanwhile, the tide of events is turning more violent, and the situation in West Asia is getting complicated even more! The Afghan Officials and the Taliban Guerrillas had failed to reach a consensus during the Peace Talks brokered by the US in September. According to Political Experts, hopes for a solution shall be weakened in the absence of the US.

The future of Iraq and Afghanistan gets sinking into uncertainty, and it is not a good piece of news for the Indian Subcontinent. The counter-terrorism measures in Afghanistan are based on a US-built database. The US trained and backed the almost scattered Afghan forces, too! Although the Government of Afghanistan has blamed Talibans for the latest rocket attack in Kabul, it is not in a position to prove the incident, or to resist the militants. The situation in Iraq is quite similar, as the Iraqi Politics – embroiled in sectarian strife – lacks strength to counter the IS. Even, reformist Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has no political capital, other than the friendship with the US! Therefore, instability and violence would certainly grip the two countries without the US’ presence.

Afghanistan

Would it be in the best interest of the US, both diplomatically and economically, to withdraw from the two countries? All the major powers will try to maintain their dominance in the region in an attempt to gain control over various natural resources in the name of anti-extremism and counter-terrorism initiatives. It would be impossible for India to stay out of this diplomatic game. India has told the UN in the aftermath of the Kabul attack that those, harbouring terrorists on their soils, should be convicted. India has also called for an end to “terrorism along the Durand Line“, thus, blaming neighbouring Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism in the region. This sort of diplomacy has become essential for New Delhi, as the US and China are constantly trying to stamp their authority in South Asia, as well as in West Asia.

Iraq

Stability in West Asia, too, is important for India. It is to be noted that two-thirds of India’s oil imports depend on this particular region. New Delhi recently signed bilateral trade agreements with several countries in the Persian Gulf region. As a whole, repeated terror attacks in the region have become a matter of serious concern for the Global Community…

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